Uys 2017 Zinfandel

Uys 2017 Zinfandel

Winery/Vineyard: Uys Family Vineyard
Product/Varietal: 100% Zinfandel
Vintage: 2017
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Dirk Uys

Rating: 89

How They Describe It

No description provided.

How I Describe It

The Uys 2017 Zinfandel features a deep magenta core which gradients to a paler ruby rim. Dirk Uys ages many of his wines in half- or quarter-barrels, which exposes the wine to microoxygenation more rapidly. Thus, the hue transition is likely due to the 3+ years of barrel and bottle aging, and will reveal garnet in the coming years.

Blueberry and ripe plum flesh are laced with eucalyptus, the latter of which lines the Uys vineyard property. Dried cherry blossom undertones combine with toasted coconut husk and vanilla. A hint of forest floor suggests the emergence of tertiary flavors and ageability.

Stewed plums and cherry cola come across most prominently from the Uys 2017 Zinfandel. Cedar and cloves materialize as secondary flavors, alongside waffle dough and a heavy dose of vanilla. All of these flavors seem suspended in preserves-style cranberry sauce, which lingers on the finish.

This is a dry wine. Medium alcohol (13% ABV) integrates with medium-plus tannins and medium acid, contributing to its full, jammy body. Flavor intensity is medium-plus, and the finish is long.

Why is This Wine Special?

Compared so some of the big commercial wine regions, the Temecula Valley AVA is small. For instance, Temecula Valley boasts 3,000 planted acres of grapevines, compared to the Napa Valley AVA’s 43,000. And Temecula features over 50 wineries, compared to the 425 in the Sonoma Valley AVA.

Thus, it’s safe to say that just about every winery in Temecula is a “craft” winery. However, in the wine world there is a term for producers which are event smaller than craft: garagiste.

Garagiste is a term which originated in Bordeaux for a group of tiny producers making vins de garage — literally “garage wine”. The term became popularized for independent winemakers who make quality wine, but not quite in a commercially available quantity.

That’s what Uys Family Vineyards is. Husband and wife team Dirk and Michelle Uys grow vines on their property — nestled inconspicuously off the beaten path between Briar Rose Winery and Bella Vista Winery — and have spent around a decade honing their craft. Where even small commercial wineries have support staff to assist the winemakers, the Uys do it all themselves.

As for the Uys 2017 Zinfandel, the beauty of such a small, estate operation is the wine takes on terroir-specific characteristics not just of the Temecula Valley AVA region, but of the Uys vineyards specifically. Considering this is a bottle you’ll need to visit their property to obtain, it’s a wine which you can pinpoint nearly to the square foot where its grapes originated. That makes this bottle extremely special.

When & How I Would Drink It

Toss a glass of the Uys 2017 Zinfandel next to a wood-fired pizza. The wine is jammy enough to accompany rich pepperoni, Italian sausage and roasted vegetables. Likewise, its lower alcohol content makes it friendly to more delicate cured meats like prosciutto and lighter herbs like basil or cilantro.

The 2017 Zinfandel is what I’d refer to as a user-friendly wine. That is, it’s easy for many kinds of drinkers to enjoy, and seems to get better the longer it’s open.

How to Get It

Order Online: Visit for more details, or contact Michelle and Dirk directly at (951) 514-9826

Bottle Price: Contact for details

Cases Produced: 1 barrel in American oak (1 additional barrel in French oak)

Have you tried the Uys 2017 Zinfandel? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.

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